* Photo supplied.
Women in Bermuda are closing the gender pay gap on men as they get better educated or open up their own companies. Pictured above is Premier Ewart Brown is pictured sampling some freshly-squeezed lemonade at the Bermuda Music Festival, alongside Ayesha Safeeullah-Shakir and Nadyah Shakir from Wok n’ Roll, a new restuarant. The Bermuda Sun will have more on this restuarant in Friday’s paper.
* Photo supplied. Women in Bermuda are closing the gender pay gap on men as they get better educated or open up their own companies. Pictured above is Premier Ewart Brown is pictured sampling some freshly-squeezed lemonade at the Bermuda Music Festival, alongside Ayesha Safeeullah-Shakir and Nadyah Shakir from Wok n’ Roll, a new restuarant. The Bermuda Sun will have more on this restuarant in Friday’s paper.
Women are closing the gender gap on pay and are likely to start out-earning men over the next decade.

Women now make 93.3 cents on the dollar to men, based on figures released from the Department of Statistics. That's up from 90.8 cents in 2004.

Cordell Riley, owner of Profiles in Bermuda and a former Government statistician, said: "Right now there are more men working than women and that's going to narrow - on my predictions - by 2010. Women will outnumber men in the workplace. That's going to have some implications as to what positions women will likely hold.

"Women are likely to hold more degrees than men so it is likely that they will close that gap and overtake men, but we will see the income gap reach near parity in the year 2010 and I would imagine sometime after that we'll see parity and women overtake men."

Bermudian women earn 94.6 per cent of what Bermudian men make, up from 92.5 per cent from 2004 and they are likely to surpass men sometime in the next decade.

Mr. Riley said the trend is that more Bermudian women are going overseas and getting college degrees and coming into the work pool at higher paying levels than before.

Expatriate women already achieved pay parity with expatriate men - and passed it. They now make 105.2 per cent of what their male counterparts make - up from 97.3 per cent in 2004.

Mr. Riley says it sounds like when companies are recruiting people from overseas "they are taking the best person who can do the job whether they're male or female, plus more women are making themselves available to work overseas, whereas that has not happened before. What we're probably seeing now in the non-Bermudian sector is more females coming from overseas with higher qualifications and taking up jobs in the international business sector."

Women in Bermuda fare better than their counterparts in the U.S. or the U.K. Women in the U.K. earn 12.6 per cent less (87.4 cents on the dollar) compared to their male counterparts in 2006. It was worse in the U.S. where women made 77.7 per cent of what their male counterparts made based on 2005 figures.

There are no studies in Bermuda, but research in the U.K. U.S., and Europe show that younger women are making more money than men and any gender pay gaps that exist are largely based on older women in the workforce who started off on unequal footing and were never able to close the gap.

Riley said that is also probably true in Bermuda.

"What we see in younger women are also delaying marriage and childbirth so the emphasis is now on a career more than ever, whereas before, women were more likely to interrupt their careers to have children."

Riley said that the more that a woman rises up the corporate ladder, the more she has to sacrifice.

"What corporate society has said to her is 'okay, you can have the same job as a man, but we're not changing the rules.'"

He added: "If a woman gets pregnant and is off for three months, corporate society says to her 'my male counterpart doesn't take off three months when he has a child. If you want to play the same game, these are the same rules'. As women move up, they give up a lot of things.

"As women move up, the more men feel like 'perhaps she doesn't need me, she's got everything' - so there's a greater sacrifice for the woman."